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How to Inspect your Car Battery Cables Properly

Updated on May 12, 2017
Inspecting you car battery cables
Inspecting you car battery cables | Source

You might not be able to use your car’s engine properly without having enough power to start it off. This only means that there isn’t a sufficient amount of battery power that is being passed on to the starter; and such situations typically result to having corroded battery cables. Apart from that, there is also Sulphuric acid contained in all car batteries. So as soon as you see old batteries, unfastened cables, or any corrosion indicators from your car, then it’s time for a much needed inspection. Leaving these car parts in these dire conditions can result to possible acid leaks; and these leaks can lead to destroying both your cables and battery eventually. You can read more from this article to know the right way of inspecting your car’s battery cables.

Safety measures first

The best way to start out with an inspection is to practice safety precautions; and of course, to check if your car is turned off to prevent other hazards from occurring while you’re at work. You wouldn’t want to experience an unanticipated burn from an unexpected acid spew on to your body, now would you? To avoid such exposure to harmful substances, protect your body. Protect your eyes and your skin in particular by putting on protective gear. You can use protective goggles and a pair of handy gloves that are rubber in material.

Inspecting Car Battery Cables
Inspecting Car Battery Cables | Source

Battery inspection

Start inspecting your battery’s existing condition by checking if there is a powdery and whitish material surrounding the battery’s ports and cable terminals. If the exterior of your battery looks clean but your car’s engine still doesn’t work, then you may have to check the cables that are connected to the terminals. If these areas and parts show rust on them, then you will have to clean the base part of the battery cable. But on a worse case, you might have to result to just changing the cable/s to be on the safer side. Now, you can also detach the cables attached to the battery by releasing the bolts using a wrench. You will need to do this initial step before doing the actual checking of possible corrosions or abrasions from your battery cables.

Checking your cables

As soon as you have separated the cables from the battery, check for any wear and tear. The best way to determine this is to look into the plastic coating that is covering the copper wires. Now, there should not be any copper wires exposed, no matter how small the opening or lesions may be. Apart from that, you may also look into the plastic lining if there’s any corrosion inside (you will be able to find traces of green and white powdery substance inside). You can do this by making an upright cut or slice; and you should be able to change the cables immediately to avoid compromising your car battery’s full operation. But other than that, you will also be able to check for any oxidization on your car’s battery cables by giving it some twisting. If there is any resistance or a crisp impression when bending the cables, then there’s certainly corrosive acid inside the lining. If there is none, then your cables are still in workable condition.

Checking for loose car battery cables
Checking for loose car battery cables | Source

Check for Loose Cables

Now you can always consult a mobile mechanic in Perth but knowing the basic will help you a lot. Loose cable ends that are not firmly attached to the car’s starter will result to future troubles. With this, you may have to experience not being able to start your car’s engine properly and quickly later on. Now, your battery cables will have to be fastened securely into your car’s battery. Otherwise, cables that can be easily tugged out of its bolts, or those that can moved without difficulty can lead to acid leaks. Moreover, the right way to attach these battery cables securely is to tighten the cables to the bolts using a wrench. The right way of twisting the bolts would be to rotate these clockwise.

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